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John Giles is to be awarded Freedom of the City

John Giles is to be awarded Freedom of the City

Brother Kevin Crowley.

Brother Kevin Crowley.

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John Giles is to be awarded Freedom of the City

A FOOTBALL legend and a humanitarian who has helped thousands of homeless people are to become Freemen of Dublin.

RTE pundit and former Ireland star John Giles (inset) and Brother Kevin Crowley, who set up the Capuchin Day Centre which provides meals for over 800 people every day, will become the 77th and 78th recipients of the honour - joining the likes of Nelson Mandela, JFK, Bill Clinton and the members of U2.

The two nominations by Lord Mayor Christy Burke were approved by city councillors last night. The awards ceremony will take place next year.

Mr Giles said he was especially proud to be honoured along with Brother Kevin. "He is based on Church Street, which is up the road from where I was born," he said.

One of the benefits of becoming a freeman is permission to graze sheep on common land such as St Stephen's Green - a right exercised by Bono in 2000.

But Mr Giles said that he had no plans to bring any livestock. "I'll bring the family and that'll be enough," he joked.

Brother Kevin (78) was also delighted with the honour. "For a Corkman to get the freedom of Dublin is an amazing achievement," he said.

The awards ceremony will take place next year.

Irish Independent